HYPROP, which manages dominant retail centres in mixed-use precincts in key economic nodes in South Africa, Eastern Europe (EE) and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), said in a pre-close update yesterday that its loan-to-value (LTV) had fallen to 40 percent from a historic 47 percent.
This was the result of a number of interventions that included the completion of the disposal of the Delta City Mall in Podgorica, Montenegro, realised net proceeds of €70 million (R1.1 billion), which, with other debt repayments, helped to reduce euro-denominated equity debt from €373m to €110m. The in-country euro debt was reduced to €285m from €365m.
Hyprop has taken 100 percent control of the remaining four centres in the EE portfolio consisting of City Centre one East and City Centre one West both in Zagreb, Croatia, The Mall in Sofia, Bulgaria and Skopje City Mall in Skopje, North Macedonia.
Progress had been made to reposition its South African retail portfolio for sustainable growth with an increase in its tenant turnover of 16 percent in the past five months compared to 2021 while foot count across the portfolio was 8.6 percent higher.
The retail vacancies were down to 1.4 percent at end-May 2022, which is the lowest level since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The group also reported “a remarkable improvement” in the trading performance of its entertainment tenants.
In the five months to end-May 2022, tenant turnover from EE was 15.4 percent higher than in the same period in 2021 and foot count was 11.7 percent better.
Hyprop chief executive Morné Wilken said trading in the EE centres had not been directly impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war, but higher electricity and fuel prices might affect retail spending and tenant occupancy costs. Some tenants are cautious about expansions at this time.
At Canal Walk in Cape Town, the first Zara and Ted Baker stores in the Hyprop portfolio had opened, as well as two new concept stores: Woolworths’ Quick Service Restaurant, NOW NOW, and Retail Box.
At Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg, the tenant mix was strengthened with the opening of an iStore for new products and a TechMarkit.
Skopje City Mall opened a new Intimissimi, N Fashion and Amanti Pasta Bar outlets while The Mall in Sofia secured Ikigai (a restaurant), Salad Box, Next Kids, 1001 Pantofki, Al Amar perfumes and AC&Co as new tenants.